Rest of Asia

China virus to plague world economy, financial markets

Filed on January 23, 2020 | Last updated on January 23, 2020 at 06.42 am
China, virus, plague, world economy, financial markets,


Health authorities across Asia have been stepping up surveillance and other precautions.

News that a new virus that has afflicted hundreds of people in central China can spread between humans has rattled financial markets and raised concern it might wallop the economy just as it might be regaining momentum.

Health authorities across Asia have been stepping up surveillance and other precautions to prevent a repeat of the disruptions and deaths during the 2003 Sars crisis, which caused $40 billion-$50 billion in losses from reduced travel and spending.

As of Wednesday, more than 500 people were confirmed infected and 17 had died from the illness. "The cost to the global economy can be quite staggering in negative GDP terms if this outbreak reaches epidemic proportions as until this week, the market was underestimating the potential of the flu spreading," Innes said in a report.

Wuhan shuts transport

The Chinese city of Wuhan, the source of outbreak of the virus, is closing its transport networks and advising citizens not to leave the city, state media reported.

Bus, subway, ferry, and long-distance passenger transportation networks will be suspended from 10am local time on January 23, and the airport and train stations will be closed to outgoing passengers. The government is asking citizens not to leave the city unless there are special circumstances.


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